Wapakoneta Redskins senior Bailey Hinegardner (49) watches one of his PAT kicks Friday in a Western Buckeye League varsity football game against the Van Wert Cougars at Eggerss Stadium in Van Wert. (Staff photo/William Laney)
The two teams in Friday’s matchup are heading in opposite directions.
The Wapakoneta Redskins (8-1) have won seven consecutive games, have unofficially clinched a playoff berth and are virtually scoring at will.
The Shawnee Indians (2-7) have lost six straight games, have two wins against opponents with zero wins and are struggling to score points.
The two teams will meet Friday in Lima in the 2013 regular season finale for the varsity football year, in the ninth and final Western Buckeye League game.
Wapakoneta, after a 1-1 start, has rolled through seven straight opponents by a combined score of 299-80 and an average winning margin of about 31 points per game, while posting its four-highest scoring outputs of the season in its last four games.
Shawnee lost its season opener, 42-7, to Marion Local, the top team in Division VII, then, in the first two weeks of WBL play, beat St. Marys and Van Wert, who are both 0-9 heading into their meeting Friday, and has gone 0-6 against teams in the top seven of the league.
Wapak, which was rated third in the computer ratings Tuesday, needs to beat Shawnee on Friday in order to have a chance at remaining in the top four of its region, meaning the Redskins would host their first round playoff game at Harmon Field.
A loss to Shawnee would mean that the Redskins would travel to face a to-be-determined opponent for their regional quarterfinal game Nov. 8.
Ranked last in the WBL in points per game, the Indians struggle to score points.
Shawnee has scored more than 14 points only once this season, in a 35-20 win over Van Wert in Week 3, against a Cougars defense which has proved to be the league’s worst through nine games.
Wapak varsity coach Doug Frye described the Shawnee offense, which is hungry for points.
“Shawnee runs the pistol and a little bit of one-back wing-T this year. They’ve run wing-T in the past,” Frye said.
Indians junior Angelo Fox will miss Friday’s game with an injury. He had at the time of his departure.
The team’s starting quarterback — sophomore Griffin Hites — replaced Fox at halfback, while sophomore Collin Rambin stepped at QB for Hites.
Hites is the third-leading rusher in the WBL.
Frye said his team will see a 4-3 defense from Shawnee on Friday.
“They’re a very good football team in the trenches,” Frye said. “That’s been their strength on both sides of the ball. They’ve created problems for people in the trenches.”
The Indians have 27 players who weigh 200 or more pounds on their roster.
Friday’s game marks the return of Wapakoneta junior quarterback Kodi Morgan, who missed the last two games with an injury.
Wapak sophomore Aaron Huffman shifted from rotating at split end to starting at QB the past two games, in a 49-14 win over St. Marys and a 61-20 victory over Van Wert.
Redskins senior tight end Jared Smith is also set to return after missing two games with an injury.
Wapakoneta senior Zach Schmerge will look to see if he can clinch the WBL rushing title for the 2013 season Friday.
He was limited last Friday in the Redskins’ game against Van Wert, sitting out the team’s opening offensive drive and the entire fourth quarter.
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